Self-Love

This is the first week of the Kindness Challenge put on by Niki at “The Richness of a Simple Life”. For this first week, Niki encouraged all challengers to explore the topic of self-love.

This is a wonderful topic for me at this time of my life, when I am working consciously on cultivating self-love every single day. Although love and belonging is something that we should not have to work for and that should be an inherit birthright to us all, we all experience moments in our lives, when this seems very farfetched in our minds.

After my recent divorce, I was thrown into all kind of turbulent thoughts and emotions. Having something that I had worked on so hard for over 15 years not work out and having someone I ones confessed my love to, suddenly resent everything I do, really left me questioning myself. I had always felt a sense of guilt about who I was and that I wasn’t able to be the person that my ex-partner wanted and needed me to be.

Only recently, when I started to allow myself to strip away the layers of expectations that had been painted on me to make me look acceptable in the eyes of others, have I begun to realize that there was a natural beauty hidden under all those coats of paint all along.

About a month ago, when trying to make my young daughter feel better about herself due to a school incident, I had an inkling to have her replace her negative self-talk by creating a routine of having her look into the mirror every day and say to herself: “I am beautiful, I am smart, I am lovable, I am enough”. In order to make it a habit, we started saying it together. As I was holding her in my arms looking into the mirror, I realized pretty quickly that these statements hadn’t just come out of my mouth for her, but that I needed to hear them myself. The next day, I found myself repeating them over and over again, when a negative thought about myself or a about a situation started to creep into my head.

At first, they seemed like empty words, but I just made it a habit to look at myself and say them, whenever I was washing my hands or brushing my teeth. I was almost amused by the fact that it would seem like I am saying them to proof my point. I could hear the words being said to the woman in the mirror only to be ended with a look or an attitude that seemed to say: “So there. Take that, you!”

And then in the last week, I suddenly caught myself turning back around to the mirror after I was done and, with a smirk in my face, winking at myself. I think I am starting to like this defiant woman staring back at me. I think we have moved from resistance to connecting with each other to a little bit of flirting.  I take that as a good sign that we are making some headway.

This week, we also added dancing to our time together. I get to pick a song that randomly pops into my head and for one song a day, I allow myself to throw all those thoughts that tell me to have everything under control at all times into the wind, and let this body be moved by the music.

Our randomly chosen song for today was “I believe I can fly” by R. Kelly. I haven’t heard this song in ages, but it just appeared as the one I needed to hear today. And I believe in my intuition to always know what is best.

I think this love thing might actually work out between me and myself!

13 thoughts on “Self-Love

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  1. Relationships are strange animals. The way they work is Greek to me. I love my friends, but I am at a loss when it comes to helping them with their spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends etc. I can only come from a place I’ve been, I haven’t been all the places relationships can go. I do think it’s important for everyone involved to make an effort at understanding and civility. One thing I know, because a love doesn’t work out does not make the folks involved any less special. I think it is important to care about others in order to care for yourself. Love, even if it changes shape, is much better than the horror of hate. You determine who you are, you define your life, you shape your being. You mold your daughter. I think she’s in good hands.

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    1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Love is so much more than we sometimes give it credit for. It exists in many shapes and forms. Even when a relationship ends, love can exist in new forms of wishing the other well and being grateful for the path that you walked together. You can still feel grateful, even while you hurt. To me those feelings are not mutually exclusive.

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  2. Love how you’ve described looking into the mirror and interacting positively with yourself, it really helps even if no one else is being positive! Your daughter is lucky to have such an encouraging and caring mother as yourself.

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  3. I think it’s commendable that you are trying to teach your daughter these valuable lessons. You do have to show the same love for yourself. It’s so hard, but I sounds like you’re on your way! I think as time passes, you’ll find yourself again as an even better and stronger person!

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  4. You modeling the mirror behavior is so important. I enjoyed reading your post. I have a yoga mantra that I think of often…things come together and they fall apart. It rids me of expectation. Expectations can make an emotional mess. I appreciate your honesty in your post and your success. Of course…..you can fly….and touch the sky. :>

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    1. Thanks Julia. I like your mantra, because it indicates that both the coming together and the falling apart are a natural part of life. You are right, our expectations of preferring one outcome over the other can make it harder to try sometimes. But if we remind ourselves that things naturally come back together (albeit maybe in a different order than expected) it makes falling apart less hopeless.

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      1. I agree. Altho I need to remind myself. Expectations can cause a boatload of problems. That’s my experience anyway. Accepting that life is impermanent has lightened the load for me. Have a great impermanent day!

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